And how Pakistan should react
Pakistan was up in laughs when India announced capturing a spy pigeon in Pathankot village which it though was specially flown in by Pakistan. The Indian Express reports that the bird had “Shakargarh” and “Narowal” written on its body in English, along with some other text in Urdu. These are two places in Pakistan’s Punjab province close to the border.
The awkwardness of that situation had not died down when a gloating Modi acknowledged his country’s involvement in the 1971 war, confirming India’s negative role against a sovereign neighbouring state, not that it was not already known. In my op-ed of December 17, 2014, I had written that an interesting book by B Raman, “The Kaoboys of RAW: Down Memory Lane” talked about the role of Israel and Indian intelligence agencies in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Raman has headed the counter-terrorism branch of India’s intelligence Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
The Indian Express in a piece by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay, titled ‘Didn’t fight on front, yet proud to have helped Mukti Bahini’ writes, “Kartik Kumar Ganguly, then a Major, was assigned to help a motley group of people from then East Pakistan — some deserters from the Pakistan Army but largely students, other young civilians, factory labourers and farmers — who formed the Mukti Bahini. His task, he says, was to take care of their various needs and give them courage… Ganguly, one of a number of Indian Army officers who interacted with the Mukti Joddhas, found them lacking in training but not in enthusiasm…” (Published December 16, 2011)
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom, states, “The rapidly emerging sub-continental scenario is very threatening. Modi seems to be on the dangerous path of conjuring an axis of evil against Pakistan. We should beware. Modi has hinted/warned of yet another Bangladesh like situation. All good people need to unite and be objective to get the nation prepared for any eventuality. Never in the past, any of our ‘friend’s’ Enterprise came to our aid. We shall have to be on our own in future too. Blaming one another is divisive. Pakistan’s political dispensation had better hurry up in finding an efficacious remedial solution for healing what has come to be Pakistan’s bleeding Achilles heel. Please do not live under the perception that Balochistan is not East Pakistan, its territory is not contagious as was the case with the Eastern Wing and that it has just seven million people who can be sorted out by us any time.
“Remember, the story of the ant and the elephant or David and Goliath. Modi’s is a wakeup call. It is late but not too late to put our act together. Balochis are as patriotic as anyone else is but there is always a limit to tolerance that forces people to decide differently. In East Pakistan too, the extremists/ultra-nationalists would not have become Mukti Bahinis if Ayub Khan had paid heed to great leader Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who wrote to him from his cell in Karachi Central: “Don’t destroy me. I am the last bridge holding the two wings together”. He wrote to Ayub that after him extremists would seize control of the leadership. That is exactly what happened. Mujib became a hostage in the hands of extremists like student leader Tufail and then came the point of no return. India signed a much more meaningful friendship treaty with the Soviet Union in August 1970 and then Pakistan’s Mutual Defence Treaty of 1954. While US clamped an arms embargo on Pakistan, Soviets helped India immensely in its designs. It provided the Indians largest helicopters to transport its troops to the border of strife torn East Pakistan. Its role was decisive. And we waited for our friends to help us without considering dynamics that such a situation offers to all interested to have their piece of cake. Sorry for this long digression, please try to understand the dynamics of the situation in Balochistan. We have a very hostile neighbour in the East whatever mantras of friendship we orchestrate, our western neighbour’s reliability is to be tested, and Iran has developed a more useful friend in India. Where are we? Isolated.”
India’s policy towards Pakistan was clear with the appointment of Ajit Doval. Looking into Ajit Doval’s past and thought process is interesting as it reflects upon the shape of foreign policy India would like to map out with Pakistan. Let us be very clear. The position Ajit Doval holds is not a ceremonial one. It’s a powerful seat that has a strong place in the nuclear line of command. Ajit Doval holds sway over Indian intelligence agencies. His predecessors hailed from the diplomatic corps, not him. He is from the intelligence operations. He has been part of a think tank with expertise in Pakistan and China affairs. The second he steps out of this ambit, he will have to heavily lean on others for expert advice. To say that Ajit Doval’s background is interesting is an understatement. He had infiltrated the Golden Temple reportedly in the uniform of an ISI officer, he was involved in negotiating the release of hijacked prisoners of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 in Kandahar in 1999 and “handed over insurgents” from Kashmir and Mizoram.
Quoting The Hindu, “Mr Doval has talked of the importance of covert action. In a 2012 article, he defines these as “a low cost sustainable offensive with high deniability aimed to bleed the enemy to submission”. In his view, “The most effective way of dealing with terrorism would be to identify boys who have got the courage of conviction to match that of the fidayeens and who are capable of taking risks. Identify them and put them to action.” He notes, ominously, “Pakistan has its own vulnerabilities many times higher than India.” (Published June 23, 1014) Talking of foreign policy, I am reminded of Hubert H Humphrey(the 38th Vice President of the United States under President Lyndon B Johnson) who said, “Foreign policy is really domestic policy with its hat on.” BJP’s regretfully leans towards Hindutva philosophy.
After the spy pigeon accusation followed by acknowledging brazenly India’s involvement in 1971 war, Modi accused Pakistan of creating “nuisance” and “constantly” troubling India by promoting terrorism, the Press Trust of India reported on Sunday, and as reported by a national daily on June 8, 2015.
Let us not forget US and the western nations shunned Modi for Gujarat riots in 2012. His critics accuse him of not taking quick measures to stop the killings. Many politicians close to him were convicted. One Cabinet Minister when he was Chief Minister was handed 28 years in prison. Inspite of not being pinned by investigators, western countries had turned their backs on him. According to a report, “During President George W Bush’s administration, the US went so far as to deny Modi a visa in 2005 on the grounds of “severe violations of religious freedom”.
Regretfully Pakistan lacks a Foreign Minister. Why the present political dispensation has failed to appoint one is anybody’s guess. The fact remains that Pakistan needs a hawk as a Foreign Minister.
The trillion dollar question is, why the sudden acceleration of Indian aggression?
Does the answer lie in the proposed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor?
Aggressive India | Yasmeen Aftab Ali